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PUNK: 1977-79 “Search & Destroy” THE COMPLETE SET #1-11 Excerpt: Exene


Exene CervenkaSearch and Destroy: How did you get involved in music?

Exene: To clear up that whole thing of why I’m in a band, if anybody cares, as if it’s not obvious why I’m in a band: I used to write all the time and I used to be real crazy. And then I met John (Doe) and he thought I was real talented, but God I was a mess! And he was a writer too. Then one night I went out to this gay bar and wrote a song called “I’m Coming Over” and it was just one of those things–I wrote a song and started singing it. And John thought, “Well, I can play guitar, y’know..” Then we met Billy (Zoom). It was real weird because we didn’t plan it, like “I saw New Wave coming and I knew it would be a good way to be famous.” I’m in a band because I think I’m good in a band and I think I can sing good.

S&D: Do you have any musical influences?

E: Yeah, but they were pretty temporary, and I don’t take them too seriously-you can’t. Just like you can’t go out and see how other people dress and go home and dress like them. I used to listen to Jim Morrison a lot, he had an influence on me, but it was a mixed-up crazy influence that I got rid of because it wasn’t doing me any good. Songs I like by him are “Soul Kitchen” and “Lost Little Girl” and “Love Me Two Times” because they’re about real things. Those other extravaganzas are just to scare people or to make people think he’s supernatural. Little Richard and Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent are as much of an influence to me as Billy in that-keep things basic, and you have this good sense of rock and roll, and you have a sense of fun. And…you do it that way, people will understand it, and that’s how you appeal to people and that’s how you make good music.

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